July 2020 Summary Board Memo

Dear NORDP members,

The Board of Directors held their July Board meeting this week. Below are a few highlights and upcoming events:

As I emphasized in my opening message to you, NORDP is deeply committed to creating an inclusive environment. Accordingly, we wanted to feature NORDP’s statement on diversity more prominently on our public website. Therefore, we have moved it to immediately follow our mission statement on the home page.

The third Conversation Roadblocks: A Dialogue with NORDP’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and our first Virtual Idea Showcase – featuring posters and lightning talks – will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2020. If you have registered for the Virtual Idea Showcase remember to login to kistorm.com to browse content and join the event. Check out the NORDP calendar to register for all upcoming events.

We launched a webpage highlighting the NORD / InfoReady Research Grants which are sponsored InfoReady. You can find information there about all previously funded awards and upcoming deadlines.

The Professional Development Committee is looking for volunteers to help host our virtual events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Rebecca Latimer at rtl6m@virginia.edu.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Eck

Kimberly Eck, MPH, PhD
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research Development
University of Tennessee, Office of Research & Engagement

President 2020-2021
National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP)
http://www.nordp.org
NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

 

NORDP Postdoc Cameo: Kristen Scott

Who: Kristen Scott, PhD, Scientific Development Officer
Where: Moffitt Cancer Center
Number of Years in RD: Officially – 2; Unofficially – 10
Length of NORDP Membership: 2.5 years

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

Like many other postdocs that transitioned into RD, I started engaging in research development activities during my graduate and postdoctoral training – I just didn’t know what it was called at the time. I would proofread colleagues’ manuscripts and grants and provide feedback on organization, scientific soundness, flow, etc. I enjoyed helping others achieve their goals.0027-Kristen Scott2MB

It wasn’t until 2017, when I was looking to transition out of the lab, that I learned that RD was a ‘thing’ and that it could provide a rewarding and fruitful career. I recognized that my organization didn’t have someone fulfilling that role for our faculty so I wrote a white paper, using NORDP’s resources, outlining the need for RD services at Moffitt, what an office could potentially look like, and what specific services I thought would benefit our faculty and their needs. I presented this paper to my current boss and senior leadership, with the support of my postdoctoral mentor, and gained support for this idea. As a result of the white paper discussion, a senior leader took a chance on me to help them with an upcoming P01 grant proposal in an RD capacity. From there, Moffitt took a chance on me and created my current position. I’m currently an RD office of one, tasked with assisting our faculty with generating highly competitive complex grants and helping to build an infrastructure for RD at our institute.

More specifically, I’m focused on elevating Moffitt’s portfolio of large team science awards. I help our faculty put together well organized and founded applications through effective project management, organization, editing, template building, communication with state and federal agencies, and occasional match making of expertise. I also support Moffitt’s P30 Cancer Center Support Grant through provision of project management, ongoing data management, writing, and editing services for annual progress reports and renewal applications.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I learned about NORDP as I started to learn about RD in 2017 and got the opportunity to go to my first NORDP conference in 2018 through the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA)’s relationship with NORDP. Through this inter-institutional relationship, I met Drs. Samarpita Sengupta and Alexis Nagel and presented posters at both NORDP and NPA national meeting. We are currently working together on presenting an informational webinar for the NPA highlighting what research development is and how NORDP serves the RD professional community.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

When I started in the field, I didn’t know anyone. Everyone that I have interacted with at NORDP is warm and welcoming, and the NORDP community is truly a collaborative environment where everyone wants everyone else to succeed. Because of this environment, I’ve met people that I keep in touch with from across the country, and a few institutions have offered to let me shadow them as I build resources at my own institution.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

NORDP helped me establish research development services at my institution by providing wonderfully rich resources on what RD is and what it looks like at different institutions. It helped me gain colleagues that understood the transition that I was going through and what leadership looked like in this field.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from post doctoral positions?

NORDP provides really meaningful resources for post doctorates looking to transition into RD from the novel internship programs to shadowing RD offices to webinars to providing realistic salary numbers for the field. NORDP really provides a full education of what the field is and where you can go as part of it. Additionally, NORDP’s partnership with the NPA really helps build a bridge into the field by provided RD professionals to talk with, articles in the POSTDOCket, and opportunities to speak with postdocs through their monthly webinar series.

What recommendations do you have for prior postdoc members to get more involved with NORDP?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a NORDP member, even if you’ve never spoken with them before. My first interaction with a NORDP member was with Joanna Downer – I cold emailed her following her Science article about RD to ask several questions. She took the time to email me back with copious amounts of advice and suggestions related to my questions. It blew me away and made me want to get more involved in the organization. After joining, I realized that she is an exceptional steward of the organization but that everyone else in NORDP is just as enthusiastic about RD and all are willing to share their experiences.

What tips do you have for trainee members of NORDP or other postdocs looking to find a career in RD?

Do your research – really make sure that RD is right for you by engaging in informational interviews with RD professionals, taking advantage of RD internship programs, becoming a member of NORDP, and attending the NORDP annual conference. Take advantage of NORDP’s mentoring program to help build a personal council of mentors within the field that are committed to helping you advance your career. Also, don’t forget the mentors and sponsors that helped you along the way – they are valuable viewpoints for your new career path.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP 2020 Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award: Kathy Cataneo

The Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award was established in 2011 and named for NORDP’s founding President, Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, Ph.D., who was the first recipient. Voted on by the Board of Directors, the award is given annually to a NORDP Member in recognition of outstanding service to the organization and to the Research Development profession. The honor is recognized with a commemorative plaque and free registration to the following year’s NORDP Research Development Conference.

Who: Kathy Cataneo, Director of Research Development
Where: University of New Hampshire (UNH)
Number of years in Research Development: 11
Length of NORDP membership: 11

What initiative are you the most proud of in your role as a NORDP volunteer?

There are two initiatives that have been extremely satisfying. Establishment of the NORDP Affinity Group policy, which I advanced during my first year on the Board and the Board approved in 2017, helped formalize the role that regional groups play in recruiting and retaining NORDP members. The policy also provided a structure for thematic groups such as PUI and Academic Medical Centers to coalesce – another great tool for recruiting and retaining NORDP members.IMG_1214

The other initiative, resulting in a 50% increase since 2016 in NORDP members to nearly 1100 members in February 2020, related to my leading various member recruitment and retention campaigns and efforts through the Member Services Committee (MSC), which I chaired for two years and then became MSC Board liaison. This tremendous growth was the result of the work of many, including regional representatives and other MSC members, and new programs such as the Ambassador Program and first-time-attendee orientation at the Annual Conference. It has been a privilege to help new members advance their RD careers through NORDP.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

It is because of NORDP that I was able to create and build an Office of Research Development at UNH. As the founding director of this office and prior director of UNH’s Office of Sponsored programs, I had ideas on how to improve the competitiveness of proposals, but I did not have the tools I needed at the start to establish credibility with our faculty in my new role. Through NORDP (Holly Falk-Krzesinski was my first RD mentor), I learned about what was working well at other institutions and I began to implement programs and services at UNH that ultimately enabled me to meet the needs of our faculty and become a respected partner in the research process at my institution.

Concurrently, I was a founding member of NORDP Northeast, chairing that regional group for several years. I worked closely with previous NORDP Treasurer Jeff Agnoli and others when NORDP was between association management firms to respond directly to members’ questions and needs; served on NORDP’s Revenue and Finance Committee, Communications Working Group, Member Services Committee, Conference planning committees, etc. I mention these because through all of these service activities, I was able to expand my professional network tremendously and raise awareness about my university. Opportunities for faculty collaborations became more possible. Our chief research officer relied on me to use my network to get input on issues at the highest level of the academy and to adopt “best practices” in RD. In turn, my credibility became well-established and I became recognized as a leader – all good for one’s career!

Describe how NORDP has changed from when you initially joined.

The biggest change is the increase in membership from a relatively small, intimate group eleven years ago to a 1000+ member organization today. Despite NORDP’s dramatic growth, we have maintained the feel of a smaller organization. I have been struck by how easy and productive networking and other interactions continue to be and how our programming and resources have grown and become more sophisticated over the years –always aiming to be responsive to the needs of our community. This is not an easy feat with an all-volunteer organization.

Along with growth comes growing pains. To relieve the Board from standard organizational business operations, the Board hired an association management firm. This has allowed the Board to assume its appropriate role in strategic planning for NORDP, and to allow NORDP’s committees to implement the activities of the strategic plan with Board oversight. I was privileged to be a Board member to assist with these major transitions.

Recent NORDP presidents have raised the visibility of our organization externally and to those who participate at the periphery of RD. By creating and supporting activities such as NORD, Leadership Forum, PEERD, and the Strategic Alliances Committee’s efforts, these NORDP leaders have expanded NORDP’s influence as a thought leader in the practice, profession, and science of research development. The recent plenary talk and Q&A session with Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of OSTP and former Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma is a prime example of NORDP’s growing influence.

I’d like to conclude by saying that I am grateful to NORDP for the opportunities to learn from the best, most generous colleagues one could hope to have. I have been inspired and affirmed by them all.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

New Board Member Cameo: Michael Preuss

Who: Michael Preuss, EdD – Executive Director, West Texas Office of Evaluation and Research
Where: West Texas A&M University
Number of Years in RD: 16 years
Length of NORDP Membership: Nine years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

I started in research development by writing proposals. I was administering a large federally-funded project and people began asking me to help them with proposals for other projects. My involvement in the field expanded from there although I have maintained involvement with proposal development all 16 years I have been involved with RD.Michael_Preuss_ Headshot (1)

At present, I am the Executive Director of an evaluation and research services unit. I provide external evaluation service for grant-funded projects, almost exclusively for Minority-Serving Institutions and on projects seeking to advance representation of females and minorities in STEM. To maintain a “case load” that will fund my position and entity, I continue to work in proposal development. I critique and even rewrite proposals for teams who are listing me as the proposed external evaluator. I also add the evaluation sections to these proposals. On my funded projects I offer advice about funders, can get involved in interactions with Program Officers, help teams form or expand collaborative networks, offer formative and summative assessment of processes, products, and outcomes, and suggest avenues to pursue in ancillary or future projects. I am also an active researcher. My research focuses on areas of change and need in higher education, again almost exclusively with or at MSIs.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I have presented frequently at conferences, participated in the mentoring program, served as a conference volunteer, been a conference “buddy” for first time attendees, and been a NORD grant awardee. I also proposed a research project in 2016 that involved negotiation with the NORDP board to gain access to information and permission to contact the membership to complete a survey. Two peer-reviewed publications have resulted from that effort and we are conducting some follow-on activity now that should provide data for a third article.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

I have many current relationships that originated at NORDP conferences. They span the continent and extend to Europe and the UK. These relationships have helped me learn about patterns and ideas used in a variety of contexts, provided opportunities for personal and professional growth, and have, in several cases, grown into collaborations. The ability to approach people at all levels of RD and interact with them has been a consistent and positive experience for me at the NORDP conferences. I look forward to meeting many more members while serving on the board.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

Learning and personal growth through board responsibilities and interaction with all the incredible people NORDP can place in your path, finding ways to help NORDP members be as equipped and effective as possible, and helping the organization adapt as it grows and flexes with the changes in our professional and personal environments.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

A Message from NORDP’s President

Hello NORDP!

EckThank you for the opportunity to serve you this year as NORDP’s next President. NORDP is at a critical point in our evolution as an organization. Earlier this year, NORDP crossed a major threshold with 1,000 active members and rolled out our new three-year strategic plan, but had to cancel the much-anticipated Annual Conference because of COVID-19. At the same time, a national conversation about racism has sparked a wide range of emotions, dialogue, and opportunities for change across the country.

In my opening message to you, I wanted to reflect on these events and think about the future.

As our organization grows, I want to emphatically reiterate NORDP’s statement on inclusiveness that we formally adopted nearly three years ago:

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP is deeply committed to creating an inclusive environment, but in order to live an anti-racist life, we must act, so we are continually looking for more ways to demonstrate these values. In the past month, for example, we asked proposers responding to our event management RFP to describe their organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity and how it is embodied in their work with clients and within their organization so that we can ensure that our event planner shares our values. We actively sought bids from minority-owned event management companies. We also launched a series called Conversation Roadblocks: A Dialogue with NORDP’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence, which provides a forum for conversation about current events that provides a safe space for our members to share their feelings, connect with colleagues, and suggest actions that we can take together and at our home institutions. I encourage you to join upcoming discussions, which you can find on the NORDP events calendar.

Looking ahead, our strategic plan calls for the development of a robust action plan toward inclusive excellence throughout the organization. I look forward to sharing the working group’s recommendations for NORDP so that we can act together in the near future.

Speaking of the strategic plan, in September 2019, the Board of Directors used the feedback from the membership survey to develop our next three-year strategic plan, which we formally adopted and began sharing with members in early 2020. To keep you informed of our progress, we created a new strategic plan website where working groups will post updates throughout the year. You will also be able to see the membership of each working group. If you’d like to get involved in an ongoing or future working group, please contact the champion identified.

After canceling the 2020 Annual Conference, the Board of Directors and I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the value of NORDP membership beyond the Annual Conference. We remain committed and even more enthusiastic about several objectives in the strategic plan that will bring value to members even when we cannot convene in-person.

Building on our years of successful programming and in addition to the 2020 conference content that we are bringing to you virtually, we are creating more coordinated, professional development content and programs for RD folks at all levels:

  • This year we will launch NORDP LEAD, a leadership development program that leverages peer mentoring groups.
  • This year we will launch RD 101, a new signature training, for early career RD professionals and those hoping to enter the field.
  • The mentoring program continues to serve members and evolve with more peer mentoring groups forming.
  • We’ve re-designed the Leadership Forum that will be a part of the 2021 Annual Conference.

And there’s more on the horizon: We will be planning to develop year-round content that will benefits members at all stages of their careers and exploring the possibility of RD certification or credentialing for RD professionals.

Before I wrap up, I want to thank our outgoing Board of Directors, Kathryn Cataneo, Karen Fletcher, David Stone, Kari Whittenberger-Keith. Your service to this organization has helped us grow in so many ways. Let me say welcome to our incoming Board of Directors members, Eva Allen, Anne Maglia, Anne Pascucci, and Michael Preuss, with whom I look forward to working. The biggest T-H-A-N-K  Y-O-U goes out to our dozens and dozens of members who volunteers their time in big and small ways to help NORDP achieves its mission.

Lastly, I want to keep in touch. Starting next month, I will be hosting monthly drop-in office hours with other members of the Executive Committee on the first Monday of the month at 11am EST/EDT. Keep an eye on the NORDP events calendar for the zoom link so you can access these monthly office hours.

Throughout the year, please make use of the listserv to ask your colleagues about RD and subscribe to the NORDP Blog for relevant NORDP and RD news. If you have any questions or comments about NORDP and/or the Research Development field, just “Ask the President” by emailing president@nordp.org.

I look forward to working with all of you in the upcoming year!

Sincerely,

Kimberly Eck

Kimberly Eck, MPH, PhD
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research Development
University of Tennessee, Office of Research & Engagement
Blount Hall, 1534 White Ave, Knoxville, TN 37996-1529

President 2020-2021
National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP)
http://www.nordp.org

 

New Board Member Cameo: Eva Allen

Who: Eva Allen, Assistant Director, Environmental Resilience Institute
Where: Indiana University
Number of Years in RD: 18
Length of NORDP Membership: 10

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

I learned to write proposals to fund my graduate research in evolutionary biology, and after graduating, I shifted directly into a career at Indiana University in research development, initially as a one-person shop providing proposal support to my graduate department. When the VP for Research created a central team to support strategic proposals and faculty development, I joined the team as a research development specialist with a specialty in complex, team-based proposals. I eventually served as director of that team for a couple years, while also still working with teams developing proposals.Indiana University Office of the Vice Provost for Research 05.09

When one of those teams earned a 5-year internal “Grand Challenge” award, I accepted the position of assistant director for the initiative, which I still hold. Although less connected to proposal work in this role, I have had the privilege to experience the next phase of the grant process, helping a group of researchers implement their proposed plans to launch a “grand challenge” initiative, which has honed my skills as an administrator, and has given me valuable insight into the ways in which the articulation of a proposal’s project plan can impact post-award implementation. I have also been an active participant in the growing RD community of practice surrounding university-led Grand Challenges and other audacious research initiatives.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

When I joined IU’s campus-level proposal team in early 2012, I had colleagues for the first time, and one of the first things they taught me was about the existence of NORDP. I joined immediately, and have attended every national and Great Lakes regional conference since then, several times as a presenter or panelist.

I became involved with NORDP’s Professional Development Committee in 2014, and shifted to the Pre-conference Workshops Committee when that function was split off before the 2015 conference. I learned the ropes as co-chair under Kari Whittenberger-Keith for the 2017 conference, and chaired that committee for the 2018 and 2019 conferences. In that role I also served as liaison to the Conference Organizing Committee for the 2018 and 2019 conferences. This year, I joined the core team organizing the 2020 conference with co-chairs Jill Jividen and Jenna McGuire, for which I led the workshops working group and served as liaison with the evaluation working group before the pandemic canceled the conference.

I am honored to have been elected to NORDP’s Board of Directors, and look forward to serving the organization in this new way.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

I knew from my very first conference that I’d found “my people.” Through NORDP conferences and committee work I’ve met so many people I consider to be not just acquaintances, but true friends. We share information, offer advice, follow each other’s careers, and look forward to seeing each other. I’ve also developed fond relationships with a couple of the people I’ve met through NORDP’s mentoring program, and still check in with them long after our formal year together has ended.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

Most of the committee work I’ve done for NORDP has been seasonal, so I’m looking forward to working with NORDP colleagues on a year-round basis. It’s an exciting time to be joining the board, as the organization begins to implement our new strategic plan, and also as COVID-19 has so dramatically shifted people’s approach to in-person work, which I think offers interesting opportunities both for the practice of research development and for NORDP as a geographically-dispersed organization.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

New Board Member Cameo: Anne Maloney Pascucci

Who: Anne Maloney Pascucci, Director Office of Sponsored Programs
Where: Christopher Newport University
Number of Years in RD: 20+
Length of NORDP Membership: 10+

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

I don’t know that I officially entered the field. Back in the early 2000’s I worked at Rhode Island College for the Research Administration office. There was very little engagement with faculty or encouragement for them to seek external funding. I took it upon myself to become familiar with state politicians and other public entities to bring “RIC” into the forefront and showcase our faculty’s efforts. I held proposal development sessions, collaborativePascucci 2020 Board Photoopportunities and gave my office a face. Since then, I have done similar work for Radford University and Christopher Newport University. While being the lead research administrator at a PUI, I also engage in RD. I have organized Collaborative Ecosystems Summits that brought various experts from around the state to discuss the other aspects of research, such as science communications, measuring impact and niche careers for students. I enjoy getting to know my faculty and their research. The best feeling is when you put them together with others who can develop a program with real impact. So, what kind of RD do I do?  Not official, make it up as I go, attempting to bring creative forces together to improve the human situation and its impact on the earth.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I believe my first conference was in 2010. I’ve been involved on and off with the Nominations Committee, the Enhancing Collaboration Working Group, PUI Working Group, have presented at multiple conferences and have been fortunate enough to have won a travel award twice. I consider myself to be an ambassador for NORDP to many peers from PUIs to R1s.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

Mark Milutinovich was the first, followed by Holly Falk-Krzesinski. She has been an incredible resource and I’ve roped Mark into doing some pretty terrific sessions with a wide variety of folks. Jeff Agnoli is someone that I rely on for advice and innovation. Susan Carter is always one to bring out the best in me. Jorja Kimball is near and dear to my heart and someone that I would not hesitate to reach out to for help. Karen Eck has been right down the road and a great inspiration to me.

It is funny how my NORDP engagement has come full circle. In 2006 I took NCURA’s Leadership Development Institute. In my cohort was Joseph McNicholas, Jeanne Viviani, Nancy Daneau, MaryBeth Curtain who are all now members. I have been preaching about NORDP to them for years with Joseph getting involved when he was at a PUI years ago. It was fun in Providence for us all to get together like a reunion!

 What are you most excited about as a board member?

I am so excited to be able to speak on behalf of NORDP with some leverage.  I’ve reached out to various groups as a member or thrown ideas out there for others to run with.  Now I feel like I can really make a difference encouraging membership diversity and growth. I sort of consider myself the underdog. In Rhode Island, RIC was sort of the “red haired middle child” that seemed to be overlooked. Christopher Newport University is very similar. It is in an extremely research rich environment with Jefferson Lab, NASA Langley, museums and NOAA all nearby. Somehow, we do get overlooked, but I make sure that our presence is known and that we are great collaborators. It takes a while to shift the self-image that an institution has and projects to the community. We are getting there and I like to think that I am playing a role in elevating the presence of CNU as a scholarly, research engaged institution.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

Call for PEERD Expert Applications

NORDP-logo_lockup-PEERD[1]

NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) is excited to announce a call for PEERD experts. NORDP PEERD experts will serve a three-year term, beginning October 1, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2023. NORDP PEERD experts will be called on to provide the following services:

Job Function Details Expert’s Payment
PEERD Review Conduct an onsite review of an institution’s research development office and/or programming. Provide a PEERD report with recommendations for the institution. $4,200 per expert + travel
PEERD Presentation Provide a 1- or 2-hour presentation on a research development topic requested by the institution. Also offered virtually. 1hr = $300 + travel

2hr = $600 + travel

PEERD Workshop Conduct an onsite (4hr) workshop on research development (including its overlapping mission but distinct activities from research administration). Small groups will work through various RD scenarios, including but not limited to the following: proposal development, strategic research advancement, enhancement of collaboration and team science, research communication and knowledge mobilization, among others. $1,200 + travel
PEERD Virtual Consultation Provide a PEERD virtual consultation packet, including an institutional survey for institutions to administer on their campus. Analyze survey results and provide a virtual consultation, including a report on next steps for the institution. $2,400
PEERD Competitive Analysis Work with the institution to identify peers and aspirational peers, a goal/focus for the analysis, and interview questions. Conduct data analysis and provide results, along with recommendations to institution. $3,600
PEERD Informational Briefs Working in teams, develop informational briefs on topics of importance to the NORDP membership (as identified in the member needs survey). No remuneration; part of expert responsibilities
PEERD Resources Develop the PEERD consultation packet, as well as other resources beneficial to PEERD experts. No remuneration; part of expert responsibilities

PEERD Expert Application Forms, along with a C.V./resume, are due to PEERD@nordp.org by August 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Applicants must strictly adhere to all word limits. The PEERD review committee decisions will be made by mid-September 2020. Any inquiries should be directed to PEERD@nordp.org.

NORDP Postdoc Cameo: Jeremiah Paulus

Members come to NORDP via many paths. This cameo is part of a series featuring members who came to NORDP following postdoc experiences.

Who: Jeremiah Paulus, Grants & Contracts Specialist
Where: The University of Texas at Austin
Number of Years in RD: 5 years
Length of NORDP Membership: 6 years

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

As I was finishing my postdoc in 2014, I was trying to decide what to do next. I had always enjoyed discussing other people’s research and how to improve it during lab meetings and conferences, but wasn’t sure how those skills could translate into a career. Paulus PhotoFortunately, my postdoc organization, the Medical College of Wisconsin, had a fantastic career seminar series for graduate students and postdocs. From there, I learned about research administration and development, and by talking to a number of people I already knew, I learned about NORDP. After learning even more about the field at my first NORDP meeting, I was confident about the type of job I could apply for and later that year started my career in research development.

At the University of Texas at Austin, I am a Grants & Contracts Specialist in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. I perform all the administrative duties involved in grant submission, including submitting internal paperwork, uploading documents into submission portals and acting as a liaison with our central sponsored projects office. In addition, I also find and evaluate funding opportunities, edit documents for grammar and responsiveness to the opportunity, draft budgets and other documents and make model figures.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

I attended my first annual NORDP conference in 2014, while I was still trying to decide whether research administration was the correct career path for me. While there, I had many opportunities to network with people in the field, as well as have more formal meetings with attendees that had similar backgrounds to my own. This experience helped me to decide to go into research administration, including using the job boards to find my first position. Since then, I have attended the annual NORDP conference 3 more times (in 2015, 2016 and 2018). I also gave a poster presentation in 2018, and sometimes engage in the listserv.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

I primarily built up relationships at my first meeting when I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I called on those connections I made to learn more about their particular job duties as well as the culture at their institutions. This helped me more fully understand the diversity of RD careers, as well as help define my job searches. I have also made connections with a group of science writers, who have been able to provide more specific advice to the types of job duties I have.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

Every conference I’ve attended has produced a wealth of notes that I have taken back to my colleagues. With the information I have gained through NORDP, I have helped improve the grant submissions I work on, as well as more fully understand the different sponsors. This has helped me excel at my job and helped as I studied and received my Certified Research Administrator (CRA) Certificate.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from post doctoral positions?

I think NORDP can help instruct postdocs on the various bureaucratic and administrative aspects of research development that they may not have had much experience with. In addition, NORDP can be beneficial to helping postdocs translate their research, communication and planning skills to research development position they may have never known about or previously considered.

What recommendations do you have for prior postdoc members to get more involved with NORDP?

I would recommend staying involved with the community. That could mean contributing to the listserv discussions, and attending the meetings.

What tips do you have for trainee members of NORDP or other postdocs looking to find a career in RD?

I would highly recommend becoming a member to have access to the listserv and job boards. Those proved invaluable as I was transitioning to a career in research development. I also recommend attending the meetings, or even reviewing the slides and notes from previous meetings. I’ve learned so much and continue to do so.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP Postdoc Cameo: Diana Sama

Members come to NORDP via many paths. This cameo is part of a series featuring members who came to NORDP following postdoc experiences.

Who: Diana Sama, Proposal Development Officer
Where: University of Kentucky
Number of Years in RD: 4 ½ years
Length of NORDP Membership: 3 years

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

I became interested in science communication during my training in biomedical neuroscience. Throughout my training, I helped my mentors and collaborators write proposals with increasing involvement as time progressed. I also received my own individual fellowship and really enjoyed the application process. While in my postdoc, I served as a ghostwriter my university’s health care marketing team and worked on recruiting materials, stock power point slides, and articles for their quarterly _DSC7929DianaMathisSamapublication. This gave me experience writing for a lay audience and interacting with clients. When it came time for the next career step, I decided to try my hand at RD and found a position outside academia with small educational nonprofit. I quickly developed skills in team building, networking, and grant writing outside my field of expertise. I also became well versed in scoping out potential sponsors. While I loved working with that group, I missed science and ended up returning to the university setting. I’ve been in the University of Kentucky Proposal Development Office for about three years now, and I feel like I’ve found my niche. Our most popular service is proposal review, where we read content for clarity, flow, organization, adherence to guidelines, and perform a gap analysis. Our other services include consultations for proposal guidance and advice, collaborator searches, funding opportunity disseminations, personalized funding searches, and grant-related workshop training for the campus community. We work on individual investigator proposal, as well as complex/multicomponent proposals.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

I have been a member of NORDP for 2 ½ years. I have attended the national conference, as well as the SE regional meeting. I found the presentations in both settings very informative for my current position. Topics included best-practices to innovative initiatives to networking with others in the field. I plan to become more involved over time as I learn more about NORDP and all of the committees. I have participated in surveys and conversations with a few committees, providing input where able.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

At my first NORDP conference I attended a networking dinner with other RD professionals who transitioned from postdocs, and the group has sporadically stayed in touch, thanks to the organizer of that dinner (Samar Sengupta) who rallies the group together every so often for NORDP-related input and conversation. The interaction with colleagues from similar training backgrounds has helped me feel welcomed and like I have a place and identity in the organization.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

I still have a lot of progress to make in this area, BUT I think just having a group to identify with—both NORDP as an organization, and former postdocs as RD professionals—has helped me validate my career choice. I think postdocs often struggle with the decision to leave their subject behind, but seeing many others in the same situation has eased my mental journey to this career.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from post doctoral positions?

What I find interesting and unique about RD and RD professionals is that it is such a mixed group, in terms of training and career backgrounds. Coming from a disciplinary background, we always considered our professional societies to be the authority on everything we needed for our career, and I think NORDP comfortably fills that role for RD professionals. Finding such an organization felt very natural and helped ease the transition from my discipline to the RD profession. I know I can rely on NORDP for invaluable resources, conferences centered on professional learning, policy updates, innovative research, networking, career mentoring and advice, and job postings. The list serve is full of resources and advice, and I highly recommend signing up, just to see what questions other RDs pose and to see the vast historical, regulatory, and professional knowledge that the collective membership offers. I think NORDP helps all RD professionals feel like we belong and contribute to something bigger than our organization.

What recommendations do you have for prior postdoc members to get more involved with NORDP?

The best way to start getting involved is by attending the national and regional conferences. I highly recommend the networking dinners at the national conference. Find a topic or host that interest you and sign-up early because the dinners fill up fast. Also attend the committee meetings to see what they are all about and consider joining a committee or working with a committee.

What tips do you have for trainee members of NORDP or other postdocs looking to find a career in RD?

There are many paths to becoming an RD professional. If the career interests you, try to take advantage of your local network to get some relevant experiences while in your postdoc, even if it is outside the RD field. Work on building skills such as breaking down complex information for a lay audience, writing proposals and papers, or working with clients. Also, don’t overlook volunteer work to help build your skillset. If you enjoy the experience, start looking at job ads to get an idea of who is hiring and where, and what kind of work is available. Also look at national resources for RD information and careers, and keep in mind that the professional society in your discipline may have some information to offer, so ask around at your national conferences. Finally, keep in mind there are many settings in which you can work as an RD professional. Some people find the perfect fit with their first position, but sometimes it takes one or two job changes to get that ideal fit. So, don’t give up and feel free to reach out to those of us in NORDP who have already navigated the career transition.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.